All that is needed is to tell people: Be spontaneous. When laughter comes, don’t stop it. And when it does not come, there is no need to be Jimmy Carter.
I have seen only one picture of Jimmy Carter after he descended from the throne of the president, and now he looks exactly the picture of hell. Now that old smile which stretched from one side to another side is no longer there. It was a training, a political necessity: “Whatever happens, you go on smiling as if everything is under control and nobody has to be worried. When Jimmy Carter is smiling, there is no point to feel any depression or despair. He knows.”
Those were the days, I have heard, that his wife used to put his lips together in the night. Because he would go on smiling, and can you sleep with a man who goes on smiling the whole night? And there have been stories about it…
One day, she phoned the doctor: “Quick, come! A rat has entered into the president’s mouth.”
The doctor said, “I am coming as fast as I can. But meanwhile, do something: hang a piece of cheese just so that the rat can be attracted out.”
By the time the doctor reached he could not believe his eyes, because Jimmy Carter’s wife, rather than hanging a piece of cheese, was hanging a rat!
He said, “What happened?”
She said, “What happened? You took so long to come that because of the rat, the cat also entered. Now I am trying to take the cat out! The rat is far away, almost secondary. The primary thing is that the cat has to be taken out.”
But that smile has simply disappeared. It was a training. When Nixon was defeated, the reason according to the experts was that his dress was not as it should be for a presidential candidate. It was not well pressed…he walked hesitantly. And it is decisive, because people are watching on their televisions; now there is no question of coming in contact directly with the candidates. They are watching on the television, and Nixon looked lousy. He was defeated.
Then he learned all the tricks and the next election, he was totally a new man – well-trained. He walked with certainty, talked with certainty, looked directly into the eyes of people watching the television…now here was a man you could rely upon!
In America, it is not the man who wins the election or loses the election. It is his tailor, his make-up man. It is the training that he gets: he speaks as if he is God himself and you have to believe in him. The question is, of the two persons, who can create a deeply authoritative image in you? It does not matter whether the man is an idiot, a criminal, or a wise man. What matters is what image he creates on the television screen.
In this world, everything has become fake, because you believe in the fake.